The final line-up of keynote speakers has been announced for the 18th edition of the IFOAM Organic World Congress, to take place from 13 -15 October 2014 in Istanbul. The final line-up of  keynote speakers are:

Yemi Akinbamijo: Executive director of FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa), Dr. Akinbamijo is a Nigerian national, who has spent the past 28 years of his career in Africa and Europe working in the International Agriculture, Food Security and Rural Development domain. Dr. Akinbamijo has published extensively and served on several international research panels.

Will Allen: an urban farmer who established and functions as the CEO of USA’s preeminent urban farm and NGO, Growing Power. He is a former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader and longtime farmer, and recognized as a leader in urban agriculture and food policy. In May 2010, Time magazine named Will one of Time 100 World’s Most Influential People and in 2011 was named one of the World’s Most Powerful Foodies in Forbes Magazine World Power Issue.Elisabeth Atangana: a farmer by profession; since 2005, she has been the president of PROPAC (Sub-regional Platform of Peasant Organizations of Central Africa). In 2012, she was appointed as Special Ambassador for Cooperatives by the FAO. She has made it a priority to focus on women and rural youth in policies and strategies for sustainable development.

Lyonpe Yeshey Dorji: Bhutan’s second democratically elected Minister of Agriculture and Forests. He has a Masters in Biology specializing in plant systematics from University of Missouri, USA and served as a researcher and senior planning officer in the Ministry of Agriculture before joining politics in 2008. Bhutan is transitioning to organic farming as part of the countrywide Gross National Happiness program.

Christian Felber: a best-selling author and lecturer at the Vienna University of Economics. He co-founded Attac Austria and is the initiator of the “Economy for the Common Good” and “Bank for the Common Good”.

Anna Lappe: also a bestselling author and an advocate for organic farming and justice along the food chain. Anna co-founded the Small Planet Institute, an international network for research and popular education. Anna directs the Real Food Media Project, which produces videos, online movie contests, events, and educational resources to educate, inspire, and grow the movement for sustainable food and farming.

Kathleen Merrigan: former deputy secretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture. As deputy secretary, Dr. Merrigan created and led the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative” to support local food systems. Time Magazine named Dr. Merrigan among the “100 most influential people in the world” in 2010. She is currently the executive director of Sustainability at George Washington University.

Raþit Pertev: secretary of IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). He was formerly the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Cyprus. Mr. Pertev is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Cambridge University. In Paris, he worked as the assistant secretary general of the World Federation of Farmers. He has also taken part in the projects restructuring agriculture in Turkey.

Pat Mooney: co-founder and executive director of ETC group, which is an international civil society organization that focuses on the role of new technologies in the lives and livelihoods of marginalized peoples around the world. He has almost half a century of experience working in international civil society. He received The Right Livelihood Award (the “Alternative Nobel Prize”), the Pearson Peace Prize and the “Giraffe Award”, which is given to people who stick their necks out. Following the OWC, the IFOAM General Assembly will take place 16 & 17 October.

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